The ultra-ace top-squad the L.A. RATS bring their 80% proof nitrous-oxide rock, and their sharp-as-steak-knives boogie, plus their highly-snazzed metalwork (all with raspy Zombie tones and turbo-shrieking guitars) — to slide madly over diamond-roads, exhaling silver-storms of oxizzle as they go… to the upcoming film starring Liam Neeson ‘The Ice Road’ — which opens June 25th on Netflix.
Their contribution to the exciting disaster / action / thriller is a cover of “I’ve Been Everywhere” written by Australian country artist Geoff Mack in 1959. Johnny Cash recorded and released a version of this song for his second American Recordings album, titled Unchained although the song is perhaps best known as a hit for Lucky Starr way-back in 1962.
“There’s swagger you can feel, energy you can smell…”
The song is celebrated for its rapid, tongue-twisting, name-dropping place names… there are several versions, including the original Australian road trip from Tullamore to Wollondilly, and at least two other Oz versions, plus an American version from Reno to Dodge City and even a Brit version from Bradford to Banbury Cross.
Kris Kristofferson did an abbreviated version of the same song for the 1973 film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, used during a daring escape.
As L.A. Rats bassist Nikki Sixx explains, the band identified right away with this song of hard traveling, “Isn’t it ironic? This song that’s so Rock & Roll, that’s so Country, that’s so all of it – it’s the traveling circus, city to city, riff to riff, greasy cheeseburger, rinse and repeat. It’s poetry based on reality – and it’s something every one of us has lived.”
“We all grew up thinking great bands don’t follow the rules or drive the speed limit,” Sixx explains. “When I called Rob up, he said, ‘I’ve always loved Johnny Cash, and I’ve always loved this song.’ I think that’s what we all share: we all play live and know there’s this magic (that comes from that); there’s the swagger you can feel, that energy you can smell. This song has all that, and that’s what we went after.”
Note: Written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh, The Ice Road premieres in the US on Netflix on June 25. Liam Neeson, Benjamin Walker, Amber Midthunder, Marcus Thomas and Laurence Fishburne bring to life the story of a ‘big-rig’ ice road driver (Neeson), who must lead an impossible rescue mission over a frozen ocean to save the trapped miners after a remote diamond mine collapses in far northern Canada.
The Ice Road © 2021 – VVS Films